Sweet Dreams

Say, What?

Everyone has a few quirky travel preferences. For instance, maybe you always rent a certain make of car or try to book a roomy bulkhead seat on a cross-country flight. But a recent study by Runzheimer International, a Rochester, Wisconsin-based management consulting firm, reveals some business travelers have been known to go a bit further by making some rather, well, bizarre travel requests of their employers.

For example, have you ever had an employee request a seat assignment on the "shady" side of the airplane? Been asked to buy a bus ticket to Hawaii because the traveler was afraid to fly? Or have an employee ask the company to pay for a hotel's shower door because they fell asleep and broke the glass? Yes, these are actual demands from business travelers.

Should an employee make an odd request--such as asking you to replace the contents of luggage he or she inadvertently left on the curb--Runzheimer suggests you begin by empathizing with the person's situation. After telling them you understand their concerns, however, stand firm and tell them that there's nothing you can do but keep the situation in mind when considering future travel policies. As for further explanation of their situation, do yourself a favor: Don't ask!

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This article was originally published in the April 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sweet Dreams.

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